It’s snowing here in Wisconsin as I write this blog post. Living in a northern climate can be tough because of our long winters. Long winters mean a short gardening season, which can be challenging if you love gardening as much as I do.
Right around this time of year I start to get a little impatient for spring to usher in the first days of getting my hands dirty in the soil. My fingernails have been far too clean for the last few months!
That’s why each year it feels like seed starting season arrives at the perfect time. I usually start my onions around the end of February and then work my way through my seed starting calendar over the next month.
Little by little my seed starting rack fills up with tiny, baby plants that I can fuss over and check on every day. Seed starting signals to me that the gardening season has officially begun and that I’ll be back out planting these little green vegetables very soon.
I breath a big sigh of relief when I break out my seed starting supplies each February. Spring is coming, I just have to hold on for a few more weeks.
If you’re a new gardener who’s just embarking on the seed starting journey this year, or a seasoned seed starter who wants to pick up some new tips and techniques, this is the time to do it! I thought I’d share some of my favorite resources from around the internet so you can dig in and get motivated to add to your skills and improve your seed starting process.
As a gardener in Wisconsin I usually have most of my seeds ordered by mid-February. I want to make sure I have everything I need when my seed starting schedule begins in earnest at the end of the month.
This timeline forces me to sit down and delve into some garden planning during January and early February. It’s not that I don’t love the garden planning process, it’s that I find it difficult to carve out the time with my busy speaking and teaching schedule at this time of year.
A case of the cobbler’s children having no shoes? Possibly. This garden educator sometimes has trouble making time for her own garden.
If this sounds like you, too, I’m hoping to help you jump start your garden planing with this round up of resources. Block out a few hours of time in the coming weeks to really delve into and savor the beginning of the gardening season.
The season really starts with the planning, and is quickly followed by seed starting, and then actually getting into our gardens. Spring comes quickly, even in cold climates, so make sure you’re prepared!
Two things happened last week that gave me the idea for this blog post:
#1: As part of the pre-order for my Smart Start Garden Planner I offered a special bonus that included a list of all of the varieties I’m growing this year. On the list are 29 vegetables and 79 total varieties.
One of the gardeners who received this list posted on my Facebook page, “I just looked over your list of seed varieties for this year…Wow!!! I’m curious, how big is your garden space?”
#2: I was asked to look over a new gardener’s plan for the upcoming year. She mapped out her new garden space with everything she was going to plant. It was beautiful and organized and I think she’s going to be a very successful gardener.
And, I did find one potential problem with her plan. Her plan included planting eight tomatoes, nine trellises of pole beans, and fourteen cucumbers, all of the same one or two varieties. I advised her why planting more variety would be a much better idea.
Both of these this things led to the realization that there’s a big question hanging out there in a lot of your minds – how many varieties should you plant?
And this is exactly why I love this community of gardeners. You inspire me to look at gardening in new and fresh ways. And you help me become aware of the ways I think about gardening as an experienced gardener, ways that might not be natural for newer gardeners.
So, let’s chat more about this topic!